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Infinite Power on and off loop (different from other threads I've seen)

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December 21, 2013 12:36:53 PM

Hi,

I'm having a problem with my PC where the system turns on for 2-3 seconds then resets itself again and again in an infinite loop. I'll drop off the specs (custom build) off and a detailed description below.

Specs:

Motherboard: MSI P67A-C43 (B3)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 (I use 4GB sticks, 4 of them)
GPU: XFX Radeon HD6870
PSU: OCZ500SXS 500W
CPU: Intel i5-2500K
Heatsink: Cooler Master Hyper 212
Case: Zalmann Z9 Plus

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I've had the PC for two years, was watching youtube one day and then the entire system froze and the speaker gave off a loud repeated buzz sound which basically sounded like it was screaming "error error". I turned it off by hitting the power button and then tried turning it on again and it started an infinite loop cycle.

After failing to get it up and running, I started with a CMOS clear with no luck. Afterwards I started stripping off things like the Hard Drive, GPU, etc. until it was down to the mobo, RAM, PSU and CPU. After swapping in RAM, PSU and CPU from another computer the system was still doing its loop so I ended up with a RMA to MSI thinking it's the mobo.

After two weeks, a new board comes and it still does the same thing (I'm using the parts from the other PC which I know work) when it's just with the PSU and CPU. The only notable difference this time is that when I have RAM in DIMM1/3 (the blue-colored seating area) it doesn't loop but instead just has power flowing into it.

At first, I thought I might've made a mistake with the mobo and it was the RAM and proceeded to connect back the Hard Drive, GPU, etc. But in the end, the power flows into the mobo and the LED lights turn on while the fans all spin but I don't get any beep, monitor remains black and says no signal.

I'm a little hesitant to just blame it on the mobo again but out of ideas on what to try.

Some things I have in mind:

Any possibility the case is the culprit?

Would it help to find a speaker to see if I can get a beep out of the mobo? I don't remember seeing one of those small ones you plug onto the mobo but maybe I got one and forgot.

Going to try thermal paste on the CPU again, I usually do a pea-size amount in the center and press the heatsink onto it. Check once just to make sure it spread evenly.

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Any help is appreciated while I go about it for the weekend. I'm checking with the MSI RMA department to see if they can tell me anything about the other mobo they swapped out to see what their conclusion on it might've been (if they even bothered to check that is).

Thanks!
a c 98 V Motherboard
December 21, 2013 12:55:55 PM

I would try another graphics card
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a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2013 4:09:13 PM

I would remove the whole thing from the computer, put it on the MOBO Cardboard box or a slab of wood. Seat 1 stick RAM, CPU, different GPU (if possible) then plug in power button from case and PSU connections. Can you get to BIOS (forget about Windows or if Windows is rebooting, we are working hardware at the moment). If yes, then connect the HDD, repower on, is WINDOWS looping or is immediately on the BIOS looping?
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December 23, 2013 1:49:21 AM

I figured out what was the problem after looking at a thread that was posted from years ago.

According to the poster, apparently a lot of the P67 boards that MSI had some issues in the DIMM area during their production which resulted in an infinite loop cycle for many. I assume he worked as a support since he mentioned MSI calls vastly outnumbered other brands.

I think what happened with my first board was after I moved it, something might've shifted in the DIMM area and no matter what I tried it simply couldn't work anymore so the RMA was justified.

The new board, I had a loose screw in the GPU so I screwed it back in and the BIOs booted and I got windows re-installed.


The culprit for infinite looping was... the DIMM sockets.

What ended up happening was that any 1 stick of RAM would not work.
DIMM 1 and 4 ended up working if you use that specific pairing together.
If I tried the full 16GB of RAM then it would be a 50/50 chance that it would boot up.
All other combinations would not work.

So I'm running on 8GB of RAM in a very odd combination of pairing them but it works at least. Since my warranty is almost near its end I don't want to hassle myself and waste another 2+ weeks and have it shipped in during the holidays for RMA nor waste the $. I'll hopefully have it working longer then the remaining warranty and replace it as soon as it malfunctions with a different board.

After asking a friend, he had a similar experience with his board but it worked for him on DIMM 1 and 3 until they gave out and he had to RMA it too.

Hope this will save some time for anyone that runs into this endless looping cycle if you happen to have narrowed it down to the problem being the mobo.
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